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inquiring, the contemplative. You will find that each of these How tender in sympathy! How rich in counsel! How will develop itself in a peculiar manner, and put forth their“ meek and lowly in reproof! How wise to direct! How several powers and faculties with different degrees of vigour mighty to help! How slow to anger! How ready to forand perfection. As an intelligent gardener, in order that his give! What a faithful, unfailing, promise-keeping friend! different flowers may open and expand to perfection, exposes Against the feeling of afflictive solitariness,' a measure them to every degree of air and heat, and treats them with of which under the most favourable circumstances must be every variety of soil ; so will you find the most varied modes long to absence from the happy family circle—she suggests of treatment necessary in assisting the development of your the following alleviating, considerations. The Christian mental blossoms, and in contending with the defects peculiar turn which she gives to the first suggestion is exquisitely to each. These will be gradually suggested to you by expe- beautiful : rience; and will assist you much in combating the defects in • Think first, what a common privation it is. Almost every your own mind, which the course of your teaching in a famiiy disperses, as the younger part arrive at maturity. watchful habit of self-inspection will bring before you. And One son perhaps remains at home to support his father's deas the child is but the copy of the man, you will thus be better clining years, and to fill his place when he shall be no more. enabled to discern the intellectual beauties and defects of The others betake themselves to distant parts, and are often those with whom you converse. The dull prosy cease to be content to look forward to a reunion in ten, twenty, or thirty wearisome, while we are busily employed in inquiring into years. The daughters probably marry, and accompany their the causes of their imperfections, how they might have been, husbands to remote situations, from whence they return once or might still be corrected.
in a few months or years, to visit the still dear party at home. • The advantages you will gain in watching the tempers and This you will say is an unfair comparison. For the happy dispositions of your pupils will be yet more valuable and im- young wife goes with her husband, who is more to her than portant. This, however, is a less pleasing task. The fall of all the friends of home; and she is soon settled in a new man, though it has made shipwreck of every mental faculty, home; and surrounded by a family and friends still dearer has still left the wreck as it were, the sadly obscured and mu- to her than those she has left. True, my dear; and this tilated remains of what was once so noble and beautiful. is what I wish you to bear upon your mind in every trial But our tempers and dispositions it has totally perverted. you may have to encounter. The happy wife misses not the To study the varieties of the natural heart, is but to study home of her youth ; because, wherever she goes, she carries selfishness and pride, in all the various forms of virtue and with her, that which is better to her than home; and her vice, which they have assumed for the delusion and destruc-pleasures now are superior to those she has relinqaished. tion of mankind. Yet, the high importance of this study, And thus the devoted Christian; whether married or unmarwith the word of God for our guide, will fully compensate for ried, has with her wherever she goes, the cheering presence its painful disappointments. If God gives me life and of one, who is far dearer to her than husband, parents, brostrength, I shall again have occasion to touch on these points; thers, sisters, or friends. She has made her liome in the I will, therefore, leave them now, and proceed to some of the bosom of her God and Saviour. Thither she flies for symdisadvantages connected with a governess' situation ;—not to pathy and direction. In that kind bosom she can pour forth discourage you, but to prepare you, if I can, in some cases to her joys and sorrows, far better than to the tenderest relatives avoid, in others to meet them cheerfully.'
or friends. She has nothing “in heaven besides her God, Her exhibition of the discomforts of the life of a governess nor on earth any she desires in comparison of him.” She shows much good sense and knowledge of character in the must feel as a stranger even in her own home, if it be comtrue spirit of Christian sympathy. The most delightful posed of such as know not the name of Jesus; and wherever characteristic, however, is the habitual bent of her mind, ever that beloved name is known and esteemed, there she is happy turning, like the magnetic needle, to the point of attraction. and at home. Go where she will, she cannot journey to the Thus, in the first inconvenience that she mentions, the sepa- place where God is not; go where she will, she is still ration of the governess from her own domestic circle-she drawing near that home, on which her thoughts and affecnaturally draws out an application, which seems to say with tions are fixed.' the church of old—“Saw ye him whom my soul loveth ?" Another ground of alleviation it very pointedly and sensi• The grievance' as she justly observes, is often lighter than bly set forth. is anticipated. Strangers cannot live long in the same house This painful separation from home, is in reality (ander without ceasing to be strangers; and where there is a due present circumstances) the best and happiest thing for you. proportion of encouraging kindness on the one hand, and of Were two situations equally eligible to present themselves, respectful confidence on the other; friendship will soon take and were I asked to assist you in your choice, assuredly the place of strangeness and reserve. This is particularly the one near home would not be the object of my preference. A case, where both parties are sincere Christians. The love of continual recurrence to the comforts and liberty of home, their common Lord begets such feelings of union and sympa- makes every little restraint and discomfort of a situation thy between them, that the hand of fellowship is soon held doubly irksome and annoying. The poor governess, who forth and accepted, as if they had long known and loved has the misnamed privilege of perpetual access to her home, each other. They know so much about each other, of returns from it in no very favourable mood to a place, where which the rest of the world is ignorant; they feel themselves she cannot (at least at first) be loved, caressed, and appreciso much of "strangers and pilgrims upon earth," that they ated, as amongst her own friends. It is but too natural, that she cannot but rejoice at meeting with a fellow-sojourner, who, should consider every little departure from the unlimited and like themselves, “has no continuing city, but seeks that bet- perhaps injudicious indulgence which she has just experiter country," to which their own steps are directed. Added to enced, as an actual deviation from the law of kindness and this general feeling amongst the Lord's people, the Christian equity; that she should magnify every real or fancied slight mother may surely be expected to receive with peculiar in- into contempt, every expression of disapproval into a harsh terest and affection, the yonng person, whom she has engaged reproof, and every degree of strictness in requirement, into to assist her in bringing up for God those dear objects of her an unreasonable exaction. Soon the very nearness of her love, for whose temporal and spiritual welfare she cries unto home tempts her steps thither again. There the well-filled him night and day. Even should you fail of obtaining this budget of petty trials and vexations, which few young perprivilege; should your employers be ever so cold and distant; son have the wisdom to conceal within their own bosoms, or to still the affections of your pupils conciliated to you by affec- tell to none but God, is emptied out before partial relatives, tionate and judicious treatment, will be objects of incessant who hear but one side of the story, and are too apt to take it interest to fill up the void in your heart, in the consciousness of for granted, that there is no other way of telling it. They loving and being beloved. And I think that a teacher of youth cannot refuse to sympathize and console; and while they are thus blessed and encouraged will seldom be inclined to reckon wondering that such an attention was omitted, such a fault her condition very desolate or forlorn. But even should this found, or such a duty exacted, they little suspect themselves comfort be denied you (a misfortune I hope and trust very to be the cause of the forlorn and disconsolate state of their unlikely to happen in your case), I have to remind you of dear relation. Nor does the evil end here. Her mind, dirianother source of consolation, which can never fail or disap- ded between her pupils and home, cannot fully and affectionpoint you. If you now give yourself to Jesus, you can never ately employ all its energies in the service of the former. be wholly amongst strangers; for your best, dearest friend - Too often will her absent looks and languid attention betray one who is “ born for adversity, who sticketh closer than a the fact so injurious for pupils to discover, that her mind can brother”—is with you, yea, and has promised to be with wander as well as theirs; and that their improvement and enyou to the end of the world.” And oh! what a friend and tertainment are objects which soon slide out of her thoughts, comforter is Jesus! How abundant in loving-kindness! when occupied by subjects of more pleasant contemplation. Nor have I yet made the obvious remark, that the time lost The web may be again unravelled; the stone, that had been in these frequent visits, however short, must deprive her of heaved half-way up the mountain, may roll down again to many opportunities of private improvement; and thus prove its very foot. I have dwelt strongly on the evils resulting in the end extremely detrimental both to herself and her from a frequent change of situationnot by way of discourageyounger charge. From these considerations, a moderate ment, but of warning. I am persuaded that in a large majordistance from home is far preferable, from whence at stated ity of cases, young people might and would retain their and proper intervals you are permitted to revisit your friends. engagement in one family much longer than they do, if only And I think that such reflections as these might enable us to they would calmly sit down, and count the serious cost both bear the discomforts even of a long separation from home, to themselves and to their pupils (to which I have alluded) in not merely with patience, but with thankfulness.
relinquishing it.' I cannot quit this subject without strongly cautioning). It would be difficult in all cases to determine what might you, not too hastily to accuse the parents of your pupils of be deemed a sufficient reason for relinquishing a situation. being unkind or unreasonable, because they are not willing A few decidedly insufficient motives are accurately specito grant you leave of absence whenever you think fit to ask fied. it. They, perhaps, with more justice, may think the unrea- • I need scarcely suggest, that a trifling increase of salary sonableness to be all on your side. It is both right and na- would be an insufficient reason for quitting a tolerably comtural that they should anxiously desire the improvement of fortable situation. Circumstances, such as some urgent their children in every branch of instruction, to which their family call upon your assistance, might indeed render a change attention has been directed; and they know that this is only not only excusable but praiseworthy. But without an imperto be attained by a steady course of persevering application. ative call, it will be equally your interest and happiness to They know that every interruption to this course must have retain your station. I consider the governess, who will a pernicious effect, by weakening habits newly formed, and abandon her young.charge for the mere sake of a little paltry permitting old and bad habits to revive; by unsettling the emolument, much in the same light with the minister, who mind in all its pursuits, and blotting out much of what has will leave his larger flock, for the same base motive of "filthy been already learned. If, therefore, they oppose your ab- lucre,” without any clear providential call. This abandonsence, it is because they value your services too much, to ment of present and certain usefulness for the sake of somepart with them lightly, or without sufficient cause. There thing new and uncertain, whether dictated by the love of are few cases in which you ought not to submit to their deci- gain, or the love of novelty, is not only sinful but imprudent. sion. But the best way to prevent any future misunderstand- You are now more or less comfortably settled. You know ing or disappointment, is to make some arrangement before not how many discomforts may await you in a new situation. you enter upon your situation.'
You leave those, who probably are becoming attached to The frequent change of situation, or the liability to this you, for those who at present neither know nor care any thing change, is well pointed out as a serious evil attending the about you. This is not the way to lay up friends against life of a governess.
the time of sickness, distress, or age. The plain path of duty • Her duties'—it is observed—are becoming easy and de- is always the path of prudence. Here only can you expect lightful to her; she is beginning to rejoice in the growing the “ blessing of the Lord, which maketh rich ; and he addeth attachment of her pupils; she feels that she can look round no sorrow to it.” When however any tempting offer occurs, on their little faces with a degree of maternal affection; when the love of gain so common to all, the love of novelty so insome unexpected cause induces or compels fier to relinquish herent in young minds, and the persuasions of older sordid her situation. She has long been employed in clearing away friends, are too likely to prevail with a young person, who is the rubbish: in laying the foundation; and in collecting and not enabled to hold fast her integrity, by working with a sinarranging the materials of her intended superstructure, which gle eye to the service of Christ. was beginning to rise with a daily increasing order and sym- • Nor do I think, that any trifling inconvenience should inmetry. This state of things might probably appear rude and duce you to relinquish an engagement, which holds out to you unfinished to the eye of others, but it was full of hope and a fair prospect of usefulness. Every situation has its trials interest to her, who had been watching its progress from day and privations; and it is better, if possible, to put up with to day, and confidently awaiting the happy, though distant, those which already fall to your share, than to run the risk of completion of her labours. Her work must now pass into incurring others which may be worse. Besides, these petty the hands of another, who neither witnessed its commence- hardships are always most severely felt at first. After a time ment, nor can be aware of many important points connected they wear off, and at length cease to occasion any considerawith its progress. The new teacher, however, succeeds to ble uneasiness. When the temper of either parents or chilall the benefits of that preparatory drudgery, with which her dren is a trial to you; when the parents, through pride, predecessor had hoped to pave the way for her own future avarice, or inconsideration, fail in a proper attention to your exertions. It seldom happens, that the children are not seri- comforts; when the extreme retirement or excessive bustle ously injured by this change of system. The very act of of your situation makes it very unpleasant to you, &c.-in changing has a tendency to unsettle the mind. The new these, and many other similar cases, I should advise you to comer's manners, her new modes of expression, and new sys- make as light of the evil as you can, and to bear with it as tem of teaching, must render her at first less intelligible to long as it can possibly be borne with. them, than the familiar voice to which they have been accus- • Again—let not any sudden fit of despondency induce you tomed; and till this disadvantage is conquered, her services to give up your situation. There are few teachers who cannot must prove less effective. Besides, too often the new govern- recollect a time when every thing seemed to go wrong with ess, confident of the superiority of her own methods of in-them— No chịldren ever repaid the trouble bestowed on struction, hastily puts aside the rules and arrangements of her them so little; no situation ever possessed so few advantages; predecessor—not because they are not good—but as if they no parents were ever so exacting and dissatisfied. In any could not be good, because they were not her own. Then other family they should succeed better; here they can the children also are discouraged and thrown back in many neither do justice to their pupils nor to themselves. Such of their studies, that they may be grounded in them on the feelings, which may be expected to arise in times of difficulnew system. Perhaps ere long another change is determined ty and discouragement, mark something very wrong in your -a new teacher comes—and the best methods are displaced own heart, that casts a shade upon all the objects around you : by others that are newer and better still. The result of this something that needs, not the indulgent experiment of change broken and interrupted education will be a sort of clumsy of situation, but a special course of self-examination, watchpatchwork, made up of a medley of fine and coarse mate-fulness, and prayer, to restore' a healthful tone of energy, rials, ill-contrived, “ill-assorted, and loosely put together. cheerfulness, and satisfaction to your mind. These are some of the real injuries inflicted on children by • I need scarcely observe, that no offence, real or fancied, the frequent change of demestic administration.
except the former be of a very clear and aggravated character, . My chief concern, however, is with the governess. In could justify you in quitting a family in which you may have addition to these mortifying circumstances, she is again probably received much kindness, and may receive much thrown upon the world. She must once more take up her abode more. A governess must expect to be told of her faults, and amongst strangers: her pupils are again unfamiliar to her; she ought to be thankful for such information as may lead to their must study their tempers ; conciliate their affections; examine correction. Christians indeed too often perform the difficult and arrange their present acquirements: in short, she must en- office of reproof in a very harsh and grating manner; forgetcounter anew every former difficulty. And when all this is ting that the reproof of the righteous should be like excel. effected, and things begin to glide smoothly on, another change, lent oil," not to “ break," but to heal, the wounded spirit. another loss of time and labour may yet be in prospect for her. Yet the harshness, with which a censure may be given, forms
no excuse for a defect of Christian meekness and love in re-ment of this important part of domestic economy. If th ceiving it.
“ Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry;" but generality of instructors are too flimsily furnished for theif remember that “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” Indulge great task, perhaps it may be also said, that the generality o not that sensitive temper, which is always looking out for some their employers are too niggardly. Though Miss Graham ground of offence, over which it can brood, till it bursts out rightly inculcates upon her young governess not to consider into open discontent; which bristles up at every light and stipend a primary matter, yet it is a part of Christian obligaunguarded expression, and is always on the defensive, evention to elevate her in a high rank above the menials of the when no intentional slight could have been conceived. You house, and to consider the claims of aged parents or poor rewill never long retain a situation without a forbearing spirit lations that often inconveniently press upon her. The same in respect to many little things, which are grating to a proud inconsiderate selfishness, and formal pride on the part of the and self-conceited temper. Good sense and experience will parents, materially hinder the defective usefulness of the indeed help to depress this baneful temper. For we can scarce- family instructors. It fosters in them a discontented spirit ly so far shut our eyes to the passing world around us, as to in the contrast with the tender sympathies of their own home. fail in discovering, that the good opinion we may have formed Their insulated station in the family throws them in irksome of ourselves is ill-warranted by the general estimation in solitude upon their own resources; contracts their social affecwhich we are held; that we must expect our full share of in- tions; and paralyses that affectionate interest in their charge, convenience and neglect. But true Christian humility can which is the soul and energy of a fruitful system of instrucalone conquer the evil, by “bringing into captivity every high tion. Whereas a considerate tenderness would return to the thought to the obedience of Christ.” The spirit and temper parents an abundant recompense, in raising up for their chilof which we have been speaking is ever ready to take fire atdren valuable friends in the persons of their instructorsthe least provocation, or even without provocation. It exacts attached to their interests beyond the prospects of sordid gain not only due respect, but much more than, if it knew itself, it-wise, anxious, and sympathizing counsellors to the end of would find to be its due. It can bear with nothing; it can life. endure nothing. But do you follow after that ** charity On the other hand, the disposition in the employers to inwhich suffereth long and is kind; is not puffed up; doth not corporate the instructor, as far as is consistent with her stabehave itself unseemly; seeketh not her own ; is not easily tion, into the family circle, is too often restrained by hindrances, provoked; beareth all things."
over which they have no controul-even where a well-fur• To sum up what I have said in a few words—when yon nished mind, and general consistency of conduct would have have taken up your abode in a family, and have fairly sat made her society an important consideration. Yet a want of down to the performance of your duties, remember that you knowledge or respect for the regulations of decorum-defect are in the station to which God in his providence has called of manners-forgetfulness of the due reserve connected with you; and that nothing but a clear and explicit call of duty or her situation-pedantic tone of conversation-vanity of dress necessity can justify you in quitting it.
-self-importance-a disputatious spirit-a love of authority •The causes that might induce your employers to dissolve -affectation, or studied eccentricity of behaviour—these or the engagement (in which case you can have no alternative) some other failure in the domestic graces-repel the exercise very materially depend upon yourself. Under any ground, of kindly confidence, and produce a natural, and in some dejust or unjust, of their dissatisfaction with you, endeavour in agree a necessary, distance in the deportment of the parents. spirit of prayer to sift every part of your conduct, and particu- Let each side form their mutual behaviour upon Seriptural larly the part censured, to the very bottom. Put yourself in rules. Let the one practise the injunction of love—“Whattheir place. Make every allowance for the feelings of an soever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so anxious parent; and consider what might fairly be expected to them.". Let the other “ be clothed with humility,” and from you, and how far you have answered those expectations. be found in the daily observance of "whatsoever things are Under any error discovered, be not ashamed to confess your pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of fault with all candour and humility, and (in a higher strength good report." Thus Christian regard and happiness will be than your own) to promise amendment. To retain your reciprocally diffused, without any compromise of their several situation by this “voluntary humility” will be truly honour-obligations. able in the eyes of Christians, who know that “he ihat humbleth himself shall be exalted.". But supposing that, after sincere self-examination, you cannot acknowledge the justice of the censure, still, as a Christian, strive to conciliate. Do not get warm or angry in your own justification; mildly pro
CHAPTER V. fess your freedom from any intentional offence or omission; and declare your readiness to redouble your efforts to give sat- Different views and features in Miss Graham's character. isfaction,
Should incompetency be alleged against you, I should advise The retired and uniform habits of Miss Graham's life you, rather than give up your engagement in despair or in scarcely allow of a detailed illustration of her natural characoffence, to endeavour by redoubled diligence and application, ter. That singular freedom from selfishness, remarked in her especially in the particular ground of complaint, to redeem early history, appears to have been, by the common consent and establish your character. Christian gentleness and hu- of all her intelligent friends, a most prominent feature throughmility to explain and conciliate, and a willingness to correct |out life. One of her young companions, whose subsequent errors, and to supply omission, will in many cases restore opportunities of observation give weight to her testimony, satisfaction and confidence in the minds of your employers. thus confirms the general remark on this point. The situa
Should however--not any fault or caprice on either side— tion which I have filled for some years (in tuition) has of but some unavoidable domestic necessily, dissolve the connec- course bronght under my notice the various dispositions and tion, in this case many mitigating circumstances will present peculiar tempers of children in general. From necessity, themselves to your mind. In the first place"?t is the partly, I have studied them. But I have never met with one, Lord;" and not one of his appointments or disappointments who in any degree answered my recollections of Mary Grais without some wise and gracious purpose. In the next ham, Warm and susceptible in her affections, she was tenplace—all painful feeling of responsibility for any evil that der to those of others ; nor did she ever suffer any regret or may result from the change, is entirely removed. And thus disappointment in her own mind to interfere with the comsupported by a sense of God's blessing, and a clear con- fort or pleasure of her companions. The testimony of her science, you may look cheerfully forward to your new desti- young cousin is to the same purport. I never saw any one nation, hoping to gain new friends without losing the old.' so devoid of selfishness, or who took so warm an interest in
The writer has been induced to quote so largely from these the happiness of her fellow-creatures. There was not one of letters, because he is not aware of any work, that enters into my amusements or childish sorrows in which she would not the detail of the principles, characteristics, and sympathies of take her share. As I grew up, her kindness in this respect the life of a governess. Had Miss Graham been permitted increased.' This lovely trait was combined with a sweetto complete her design, her accurate and observant mindness and gentleness of disposition, and, being moulded under would probably have produced a valuable manual for this in- the influence of Divine grace, attracted the regard even of the teresting and important class of society. In the defect how-thoughtless and unobservant. Indeed her young friend first ever of an entire system of instruction, the preceding hints alluded to does not hesitate to assertMy earliest remenwill be found to suggest much sensible instruction nearly brance of her is connected with feelings of respect, which, I connected with their comfort and usefulness.
think I may say, I have scarcely felt in a stronger degree for An even balance must, indeed, be preserved in the adjust- any one I have since known.'
We have already given her parents' account of her relative ever the completeness of her intellectual character appeared character under their own roof." In its wider sphere of opera- in the well-regulated application of her mental powers. To tion it may however be added, that her natural affection was subjects of taste-such as music and poetry—she brought a enlarged in no common degree to all that belonged to her, glow of feeling, and of imagination, that quickens the pulse and manifested in the most important and practical mode of of her readers, and plays upon the passions with an irresisticonstant prayer and effort for the salvation of their souls.ble charm. On the other hand, matters of a graver cast, such She sometimes spent a great part of the night in earnest and as the highly valuable discussions of her Mathematical Manupersevering intercession ; and on one occasion was known, script, are drawn out with the sober accuracy of a reflecting after she had retired to rest, to arise from her bed to employ and discriminating judgment. The illustrations that have herself in special prayer, in behalf of her only brother who been given of her musical excitement might almost lead us died in America about this time, and for whom she never to suppose that this was the atmosphere in which she lived, ceased to cherish the hope, that her prayers were heard with and that she could breathe in no other; yet was this fervid acceptance.
enthusiasm disciplined by the apprehension of the preponThe following letter full enforces the claims of natural derance of this indulgent taste above more solid pursuits. affection upon the basis of the high principles of the gospel. Thus was her fine imagination furnished with a proportionate In quickening her friend to a self-denying effort in this path counterpoise in the master-principle of her ever active mind. of duty, she writes
As to her Christian character-this highest style of man
that energy of feeling and industry of habit, which gave the
Stoke, Jan. 2, 1827. impulse to her intellectual studies, no less strongly marked the • My dear, "freely we have received, freely let us temperament of her religion. Though she had a clear per
If it does take up half-a-day once or twice a month ception that the blessing she sought was a free gift, yet she to go to - surely God, who gave all your days, has a expected the attainment of it, like that of every important obright to expect you should spend them in whatever service ject of pursuit, only in the constant use of the appointed he will put upon you; and by making these individuals your means. She was therefore led to cherish the principles of near relations, he has given thema claim upon you. Jesus her Christian profession, in a spirit of earnest and prayerful made himself as our brother, that sucked the breasts of our searching of the Scriptures and thus was she enabled to exmother, on purpose to give us an everlasting claim to all that he hibit the graces of the gospel in lovely combination and can do for us; and surely those whom he has given us as practical exercise. near relations, have for his sake, a claim upon all that we can In giving, however, a detailed sketch of Miss Graham's do for them. The more unpleasant the task, the more con- spiritual character, we would premise, that it was marked by trary to flesh and blood, the more reason we have to hope that variation of feeling, which is so often alluded to in her that we are not following our own fancy, nor working to correspondence, and which, though common to all cases of please ourselves, but really following the example of Jesus, Christian experience, her remarkable elevation of spirituality who, “came not to do his own will.” At the same time, if rendered more visible than in most other cases. The differafter prayer, you really do not feel called upon to do some-ence of her feelings was often discernible in her countenance. thing for them, and that speedily and perseveringly; and if On some seasons it was irradiated with a peculiar expression you do not think you are guilty of great unfaithfulness, and of heavenly feature. She was manifestly filled with the love selfishness in neglecting it, I will not mention the subject again of God, and “out of the abundance of her heart her mouth to you; for I am persuaded you will be taught of God, and would speak. At other times it was with difficulty that she faith will be given you, if the Lord intends to make use of could be induced to converse upon religious subjects; and she you to do them good. My great desire is that, we may be would turn from them to enter upon topics exclusively intelalways faithful to one another, “provoking one another to lectual. But this view of her character cannot better be degood works.”
scribed than in the language of her most intimate and confiIn another letter to the same correspondent, she throws dential friend. out a valuable hint of encouragement relative to a difficulty, • I did not notice any infirmity in her Christian character, which is often painfully felt in this course of obligation. except the one she herself often mentions--inequality. The
'I often think, dear, that if we could feel and carry in difference in spiritual feeling was more visible in her than in our memory those encouraging words of our Saviour, " It is any other Christians I have known. When in a state of not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father, which speak-warm feeling, she was more entirely engrossed by the subject eth in you,"--we should no longer suffer false shame to hin- than any one I ever met with. Nothing else could interest der us from earnestly pressing the subject of the gospel upon her. When her mind was less under the influence of heathose who are dear to us. May not we, as well as the In- venly things, the difference was obvious. I do not mean by spired Apostles, hope for the indwelling guidance of that her giving way to any sinful temper or feeling, but by her Spirit, who shall strengthen us in all utterance and in conversing with pleasure and interest upon merely earthly knowledge ?'
things. Nor do I think that at these times she sunk much, One main feature of her intellectual character was the ar- if at all, below the usual standard. Ordinarily she rose, I dour, steadiness, and concentration of mind, with which she should think, above it.' pursued every object of interest. This indeed distinguished The general tone, however, of her habit, both contemplative her earliest and most unbended habits. Her youthful games and active, manifested the habitual operation of a high meawere marked with the same intensity of feeling which she sure of Divine influence; while her occasional depressions subsequently applied to her more important objects. She seem not to have sunk her below the ordinary level, and were engaged in games of imagination, as one of her companions doubtless connected with those exercises of humiliation deremarks, with all the earnestness of reality, and acted a ficti- scribed in her correspondence, which will find their response tious character with an expression, that proved her to be in the hearts of many of her readers. totally absorbed in it. Thus it was with reading or with work. We now proceed to the chief object of this work, a detailed No efforts or entreaties could avail to divert her mind from development of the most prominent features of Miss Grathe object which was then engaging her attention to any other ham’s Christian character. employment or recreation. In the occupations of after-life, In a compassionate concern for the unconverted, she had whether it was music, the languages, mathematics, or chemis- deeply imbibed the spirit of her beloved Master. I see,' as try, it was still the same warmth and fixedness of mind. The she writes to a friend, more need than ever to pray, not only early dawn not unfrequently found her (after she had girded on for the souls of others, but for a spirit of love to souls, and for her Christian armour) deeply engaged in her studies. 'I'he spirit a sense of their inestimable value.' She had diligently imand result of her investigations often entered into her com- proved the opportunities of her health, in pleading with the mon conversation, whenever she met with a kindred mind-careless and unbelieving, and in every exercise of tender mot however in any display of pedantry, (than which nothing anxiety on their behalf. In the chamber of pain and sickness, was more removed from her temper,) but in the natural flow their awful condition intensely occupied her mind; and the of her spirits, and with a lively endeavour to communicate a long and "wearisome nights appointed” her, were often enreciprocal interest. The simplicity and elastic spring of her gaged in intercession for their souls. mind was also remarkably illustrated in her peculiar facultyWhen first I visited her?-observed the dear brother who of drawing out the mental resources of those with whom she was the privileged attendant upon her sick bed-hearing of conversed; so that, though they could not but be sensible of a poor woman in a dangerous state, and unconcerned about her great superiority, yet they appeared to themselves often her eternal interests, she eagerly inquired of me respecting to possess a greater strength of mind, and variety of concep- her soul, and begged me most earnestly to pray for her. She tion, than they had before been conscious of. Perhaps how- spoke with a peculiar interest, as if she felt what it was for a
soul to be lost. Indeed her minister expresses himself to portant a subject. If we are walking in the same way with have been continually struck with her deep tone of anxiety the world around us, we are not walking in the narrow way on the state of the parish. If she heard of any that were which leads to life ; nor can we be the followers of that Saawakened from a fearful state of stupidity and death, it was viour, “who gave himself for us, that He might deliver us always with the most lively expression of delight. Often was from this evil world.” There is a peace which the world she known to shed tears of joy upon any symptom of hope and knoweth not of, and a joy in which all its boasted pleasures encouragement respecting them that were brought before her. are but vanity.' This is the peace and the joy, which I would She felt the responsibility of every opportunity of addressing intreat you to seek after. But you will say to me. Why do her fellow-sinners, whether rich or poor, upon the immensely you recommend it? and why are you so uncharitable as to momentous concerns of eternity; and when unable to seek suppose I do not possess it already?' It is because I know after them, she longed to bring them into her sick room, what a great and entire change it requires in the whole heart within the reach of her solemn and affectionate exhortations; and character. I am sensible, that such is the utter sinfulness though a restless night was the expected consequence of of my own heart, that nothing but a Divine influence could this ardent excitement. It was her great desire to bring her have led me to see any thing in Christ crucified that was worth whole family, all her friends and neighbours, to Christ and to giving up all the world for. And may not the same Divine heaven with her. Though suffering under excruciating pain, power snatch you as a brand from the burning, and lead you and her " soul breaking out with longing desires” for a sight to the cross of Jesus for pardon and salvation? This is the of Christ in his glory : yet, when speaking of the perishing hope that induces me to venture upon writing to you so freely; state of sinners, she would say— Oh! I would gladly live a and the very affectionate interest I feel in every thing relating hundred years, if I might be the means of saving one soul.' to you, must plead my excuse, if, when I speak of a thing on Shortly before her death, when in a state of great exhaustion, which your eternity depends, I speak in the strong language she begged her minister to pray for an infidel, who had an which my anxiety suggests to me.' opportunity of seeing her • Test of Truth,' as it passed through Some misconception of her correspondent gave rise to the the press— Weak as the work is'—she said in her deep hu- next letter. mility— it may prove a blessing to his soul.'
• Your letter occasioned me much pain, and I will addA few extracts from her correspondence will afford striking perplexity. I could not conceive from what part of mine you illustration of the deep feeling of her Christian responsibility had discovered, that I thought holiness unnecessary to a and love. The first letter relates to an unhappy female, who Christian. My dear friend, I know (for God has said), that had been brought under her notice. Being unable personally “ without holiness no man shall see the Lord.:” but I know to attend to her case, she thus warmly enforces it upon her (for God has said it too), that we cannot be holy of ourselves: friend, who was, jointly with herself, interested in it. so we are not sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of
ourselves;" and, “without me”-saith Christ=“ye can do
Dec. 18, 1827. nothing." As this is not a matter of little importance, but • My chief reason for writing to-day is, that this poor one of life and death, let me most earnestly and affectionately wretched girl dwells.upon my mind. You make good reflec- entreat you to make it the subject of unceasing prayer. “If tions, but these very reflections ought to lead us to do some- any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all thing for her. She must be very young; and if we do not men liberally.” “ Ask, and ye shall have.” The Scripture make an effort to save her from destruction, I think that we abounds with promises to those who make it the business of shall indeed have much to answer for. Her not belonging to their lives to seek God. Allow me to mention one more, us, ought to be no excuse for our not concerning ourselves which always fills my mind with comfort and peace :about her. For does she not belong to the large family of lost" Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto sinners to which we once belonged? And may we not be me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, the means of removing her thence, into the family of saved and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." sinners, of which God's mercy has made us members ? I I have mentioned this way of prayer to you, because I believe cannot rest till something is tried. So young, and so brought we might write about these things for ever, without coming up, what better could be expected from her? What should nearer to the truth. Prayer is the way of God's appointment; we have been under her disadvantages ? 1 tremble even to and I never knew any one who really prayed earnestly and think of it; and for very thankfulness we ought to leave perseveringly for Divine teaching, that was not brought at nothing untried to save her. She has been also brought under length heartily to subscribe to what are called evangelical our notice by a peculiar providence, which is, I think, a call doctrines. The Scriptures take away all hope of our underto the work,
standing these things of ourselves, when they tell us, that To this wretched object of distress, she addressed a letter " the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of full of tender and awakening exhortations. To her great con- God, for they are foolishness unto him." Foolish indeed cern, however, this messenger of mercy never reached the does the doctrine of the cross appear to the heart untaught by hands of her for whom it was intended, and who was soon af- the Spirit of God; but let the heart be once taught to receive terwards transported. Shortly afterwards she again stimu- it, and it beholds in it, “ the power and wisdom of God;" lates her friend to this work of love, with the solemn impulse and a person thas taught will feel constrained to make it his connected with the concerns of a never-dying soul. great desire, endeavour, and prayer, that others may learn it
too. Therefore if I could write volumes to you, the little
Jan. 11, 1828. word "pray’ should be the burden of them all. By prayer 'I beseech you to reflect, that on one hand this girl may be I do not mean that cold thing, which worldly people call a subject of regret to you upon a bed of death. On the other prayer; I mean such an effort, as a man dying with hunger, hand, she may be to you a “ crown of rejoicing in the day of would use to beg for food; I mean begging as for one's life, the Lord Jesus." ;
|being able to say as David did—“There is nothing in heaven, The fervour that pervades the following letter, is deeply af- or in earth that I desire beside thee.” Dear – -, I feel fecting
that I have spoken to you with great freedom and plainness;
I cannot help it. If I saw a friend on the brink of a precipice,
March 18, 1828. I would try to pull her away from it. I know that all who • But why ehould I say I have nothing to write about? I trust in any thing but Christ for pardon and salvation, are on am really ashamed of the folly of the last sentence, and of the the brink of eternal destruction; and can I rest, when any frivolous temper which dictated it. Yes, my dear friend, if whom I love are in this state. I know, too, that unless God we love the Lord Jesus, we have always a subject of the deep- is pleased to bless what I have said, you will only think me est interest-enough to employ our tongue and our pen, both a fool for my pains: but this is of little consequence. Before morning, noon, and night. 'I 'would fain make him the sub- another letter can pass between us, one or both of us may ject of our communication here, as I trust he will be the theme have entered into eternity, when every man's foundation that of our songs and praises in heaven; and firinly believing, as he trusted in, will be tried; and it will be seen how miserably I do, that there is neither praise nor lasting joy for those, who mistaken are those, who build upon the sand, upon their own place their happiness in any thing short of loving him ; can I imperfect righteousness: while those alone who build upon do otherwise than tell you how very earnestly I wish, that the Rock of Ages will be safe. May you be one of those ! you may be led by his grace to make him your all in all ? may you flee for refuge to Christ Jesus! trust him for every May his Holy Spirit lead us, my dear M—; for in short, all thing, follow him in every thing: take him alone for your are sinners, by nature as well as by practice, altogether alien- guide and teacher, and cease to ** lean unto your own underated from God, to whom we can only be “made nigh by the standing." blood of Jesus." Do not let us deceive ourselves in so im- The next letter contains a faithful and affectionate appeal